From Garda to San Pellegrino Terme
between valleys, lakes and mountains of the Lombard pre-Alps.

09 May 2021

The PUSHARDER of trips outside the city

Where were we? Yes, to the trips home of our Pusharder Cristian. The next step is the trips out of town: the Garda area is close to its first (and only?) Luster of life, it goes out of the house through valleys,

lakes and minor passes of the Lombard pre-Alps. Destination San Pellegrino Terme, where he will reunite with his family once there. If you can't travel home, you will take the house to your destination.

By reversing the factors, the result does not change.


The Pusharder Motto

“Think, Ride, Enjoy!”
Once more into the fray.
Into the latest ride I'll ever know.
Think, Ride, Enjoy … on this day.
Think, Ride, Enjoy … on this day


“Soloride” in the post lockdown phase with partial reopening, arranged as he can and challenging the curfew. Consolatory crossing, patriotic alternative to long cross-border journeys: the 71st parallel can wait.

[Once again in the fray,
for the umpteenth journey that I will face.
Think, ride, have fun on this day ...
pensa, pedala, divertiti in questo giorno! ]

For now we have to settle for the 46th parallel which in May still guarantees a good fifteen hours of light, a wealth of time more than enough to proceed with regularity and progression, gain kilometers and altitude gains in satisfying quantities, savoring the joy of stopping where you like. , without fear and fear of bau bau or dying of starvation for lack of water, food and wifi.
On the pedals, in solitude and in self-sufficiency, with just a couple of sections assisted by ferry: in the conscious and irrepressible mercy of the need to get by alone.
Six days, five nights, thirteen thousand five hundred "more", six hundred and fifty kilometers, forty-two hours on the move, four wild campsites, one night in a bungalow, three mega thunderstorms and a day in the rain. These are the numbers in letters of Destination Sanpe.

Still full bags in Teutonic "agè", avoiding the fashions of "frames" for frame. Still on the trusty aluminum bike with twenty-seven and a half inch wheels assembled in California by the fork house on the left. Generous tires this time: an inch and seven, Country Rock model, produced by the French house of the little white man made from inner tubes of tires called Bibendum. All to be able to move safely even on the planned off-road terrain.
Unfortunately, the abundant winter and spring snowfalls forced him to cut four high gravel index passes initially included in his very personal travel card: Passo Tremalzo and Giogo del Maniva via Baremone (tunnels and roads blocked by snow and landslides), Passo di Crocedomini and Passo del Vivione (closed due to snow).

In sequence, this is the original broken line designed by PHer Cristian to reach San Pellegrino Terme. From East to West: Garda, Lake Garda or Benaco, Torri-Maderno Ferry, Valvestino, San Rocco di Capovalle Pass (1000m), Val Sabbia, Lake Idro or Eridio, Caffaro Valley, Giogo di Maniva Pass (1640m) , Val Trompia, Colle San Zeno (1430m), Val Palot, Val Camonica, Gpm Garda di Sonico 1200m, Gpm Cevo (1100m), Val Saviore, Rock Engravings Park of Naquane, Lake Iseo or Sebino, Valico di Solto Collina ( 489m), Lake Endine, Valle Rossa, Val Seriana, Passo Ganda (1060m), Val Serina, Passo Crocetta (1051m), Val Brembana (first passage), Val Taleggio, Culmine di San Pietro (1300m), Valsassina, Colle di Piazzo (913m), Valvarrone, Lake Como or Lario, Griante-Bellagio Ferry, Lake Gavirate, Valle San Martino, Colle del Pertùs (1300m), Valle Imagna, Foresta del Resegone (1200m), Fuipiano Imagna, Forcella di Berbenno ( 692m), Val Brembilla, Colle di Sant'Antonio Abbandonato (986m), Valle Brembana (second passage), Gpm Frasdanello (512m), Ranch del Piero. Names and places that do not sound familiar like Mortirolo, Stelvio, Gavia and that do not even have the appeal of the most famous and picturesque Dolomite passes, while lapping bad or imposing mountains such as the Maniva group, the Adamello and the Bergamo orobica ridge / Lecco. However, there was no shortage of differences in height and effort, strictly on little-traveled roads and meeting simple and genuine people.
We report for characteristic gravel cart tracks and small roads on the eastern side of Valcamonica, some segments on the Oglio cycle path, the Forti path and the Valtellina cycle path in the northern area of ​​Lake Como in addition to the iconic ascent, mostly dirt, from Carenno to the Pertùs Pass (8k 650+) Among the noteworthy climbs: Giogo del Maniva da Bagolino (11k 900+), Colle di San Zeno da Lavone (15k 900+), Passo Ganda da Gazzaniga (10k 700+), Culmine of San Pietro da San Giovanni Bianco (22k ​​900+), Brembilla-Sant'Antonio Abbandonato (6.4k 600+)

Apart from a night spent in a spartan bungalow with a hot shower, only unconventional places to stay in wild camp or bivouac mode: Roccolo di caccia del Maniva, Church of San Lorenzo in Garda di Sonico, Church of Santa Margherita di Valsassina, Laghetto del Pertùs . Places forgotten by God, but which give protection and shelter to the pilgrim on the pedals in a May from the dancing weather. All recommended to the saints of the days 9-10-11-12-13 and 14 May: Pachomius, Ignatius, Nereo and Achilleo, Mattia, Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, but above all San Cataldo because when it is the day of San Cataldo, it passes the cold and the heat comes.
The soundtrack of this holiday is the traditional FM radio to make up for the lack of 4G and save smartphone batteries. From Radio Valle Camonica to Radio Onda D’Urto, from Nik the Nightfly to Mauro Flora, from Desert Caravan to La Zanzara. Always with that background noise of frequencies that are not received perfectly. Nostalgic here too.
Do-it-yourself meals based on stale bread and freeze-dried soups prepared with the trusty gas stove. However, there were rare and targeted tastings of local products of excellence, primarily cheeses: starting with Bagòss, passing through Branzi and ending with an excellent goat Taleggio.
It is also essential to socialize with the bar managers to obtain valuable information, succulent sandwiches and perfectly spined beers or, if to take away, fresh at the right point.

I travel by bike how much it costs me!
6 stages, 5 nights: € 174 total costs (€ 29 per day). Apparently a sustainable and "low cost" model cycling holiday. But beware, our Cristian's total value in unsustained deluge-proof quality equipment requires an investment of a few thousand euros (close to double digits, bike included).
Try, even just while pedaling for your Sunday outing, to count the value of your outfit and you will see that a figure with three zeros or so comes out (helmet with captivating design, cool glasses of the latest generation, range PH shirt high, underwear, sleeves, bib with hemorrhoid-proof pad, sock, right shoe, shell in goretex or similar, sleeves, leggings, GPS, mobile phone with komoot, powerbank to recharge the mobile phone with the komoot app always open, repair set for punctures, bars / gels, earphones for the music, various frames, emergency light, something useless bought in addition, buff / hat ... if you have not got there why you do not have the Go-pro with you for emotional videos but, just you stop at the bike grill, spend at least another 25 € and there you are).
Much of the equipment obviously has a multi-year duration, but that said and without going into issues of wear and tear, obsolescence, distribution of costs over several years (stuff from "reasoners with double G") the "total self-sufficiency" structure has an economic impact noteworthy that should be supported only if the intention is to undertake a fair number of cycle trips, always if you can afford, or simply like, ride a full load, sleep in the woods, wash as best you can (or not wash yourself), cook soups in the saucepan, place and remove the camp every single day with the relative routine operations not always pleasing to the endurance cyclist.
Otherwise, it is better to leave fully dressed, obviously PH Apparel, with the toothbrush on the handlebar and the smartphone in G-Pay mode enabled and, at the end of the stage, enter with the bike directly in the hotel with spa, take advantage of the laundry service and in the meantime, after a hot shower of at least thirty minutes trying all the scented essences supplied, wear the bathrobe and slippers offered in the package and enjoy the sumptuous buffet-aperitif strictly served in the room.
And if something is missing, there is always the personal shopper service that retrieves the item of clothing you requested from the nearby sports shop, which usually has crazy prices in tourist resorts.
Even without reaching such extreme and deliberately provocative hyperbole, moving for several days in "light weight" involves outlays of no less than 150 euros per day, except for additional unexpected expenses and depending on how many beers, sandwiches, pizzas are consumed at each stop .. And the cyclist is a bottomless digestive tract.
Small considerations but that make us understand how the choice of the trip on the pedals does not necessarily mean savings compared to a two-week holiday in Ischia in low season with full board at 400 euros including travel, obviously served, revered and gorged. Therefore "only today can we tell you what we are not, what we do not want".

Pusharder Philosopher
Dear PH er from everywhere, I believe and cycling trend, relax and start your slow journey, discovering little known and forgotten places and views.
Look at the landscape and think about how it has been transformed over time by man. Listen to the sounds of nature around you.
Look around and let your mind wander, do not be in a hurry: light plays an important role in admiring a glimpse.
Do not be impatient if the day is bad, it rains and the horizon is gray.
You can always come back: the world belongs to those who remain but also to those who, fortunately for them, know how to return.
It is up to you to decide whether to opt for the "Teutonic" formula from € 20/30 per day but with a 30 kg bike fully loaded and average travel time of around fifteen kilometers per hour or the "new gravel generation" one from € 200 / day with weight bikes and frames of less than 15 kg and an hourly average close to thirty per hour regardless of the altitude difference.
At the end of each stage, whether you are wrapped in the perfumed bathrobe from a star hotel or tucked into a "puteolent" sleeping bag in a precarious toilet set, what really matters is to feel blissfully happy, thinking back to your journey, to the uncovered places or rediscover, to the rhythm of pedaling, the play of light and the iconic photos taken wearing the fantastic Ph Apparel garments.
And if you missed something, we repeat, you have the knowledge that you can always go back and start again.

"One day every man realizes that he is his father and grandfather and that this is the only possible immortality!"
(E. Flaiano, Night Diary, 1946)

And adds our Cristian, today pusharder in philosopher version:
"We are passing through and be aware of it without freaking out the other possible form of eternity!"
But is happiness really only real if it is shared? “Soloride” or “Ride Together”?
Think, ride, have fun! Happiness is happiness. Point!
It is conquered by learning to look around and a little inwardly, carving peace in your heart on your chest, as the Camunians did with the hammer on the sandstone rocks of Valcamonica! Few try, even fewer succeed.

Think, Ride, Enjoy!
Pusharder forever!

Ps: for the complete travel diary visit the site dedicated to type 1 sports experiences


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